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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The Buds Are Calling by B. Coyne Davies takes us for a deep dive into the world of commercial cannabis production, for medical purposes. Ernie Kippett has been truly beaten down by life; he lost his house and his partner in the financial crisis of 2008, so returning to his hometown he determined to do just as little actual work as he needed to in order to survive. When the laws of the state began to change and the production of marijuana for medical purposes became a reality, Ernie’s response was to do as little as possible (sweeping the factory floors) and still be involved in the cannabis factory. Lydia Rosemore was fantastically wealthy from the business acumen of her deceased husband Jordan, but incredibly bored and frustrated by the meaninglessness of her life. So when her current paramour Caldwell Porter suggested they form a medical cannabis startup, she saw an opportunity to put some meaning back into her life and was in, boots and all. Between extreme incompetence, gross negligence, state regulators and inspectors with intense security concerns, and a factory built on nepotism and greed, the team quickly discovers that getting the product out to the public and making a success of the operation may not be quite as easy as they had envisaged.
The Buds Are Calling is a satirical and somewhat jaundiced look at an industry that is currently flourishing and becoming more powerful in certain states in the U.S. Author B. Coyne Davies wonderfully introduces a quirky, eclectic, ensemble team of characters that all bring their unique perceptions of the industry and the product to the table. Motivations for becoming involved in this startup vary widely and provide an insight into the often dysfunctional dynamic that is the keystone of this quirky story. From the altruistic and caring intentions of some, who see medical cannabis as the savior for the terminally ill or those suffering from horrendous pain, through to the naked grab for wealth and power exhibited by the tyrannical and obsessed Caldwell Porter, right up to the three local hop-head hometown boys who just see working with cannabis as the ultimate thrill, these characters are beautifully explored and rounded out by the author. What I particularly enjoyed was the author’s ability to expertly juggle and interact with such diverse and differing individuals with different backgrounds and story arcs, for which she deserves credit. There is a subtle undertone of farce that ripples beneath each line of this book and it is that expectation of impending hilarious disaster that keeps the reader enthralled. For me, the star of the novel was the product itself and its story, as portrayed in the “Cannabidadas,” portions of which were liberally sprinkled throughout the narrative. This was an exceedingly rewarding read and one I can highly recommend.